Lack of movement at work is a major risk factor in the development of musculoskeletal disorders and cardiovascular illnesses. As the workforce ages, the frequency of such illnesses will continue to grow if suitable preventive countermeasures are not taken in due time.
Recent scientific studies show that taking regular breaks can effectively prevent the negative effects associated with extreme lack of movement at work. To help employees with this we have implemented a number of different measures and, for example, employed mobile fitness coaches on site. They instruct our employees on simple exercises that can be performed right at the workplace.
We added a new exercise offer in 2016 with the Active Workplace project. Desk exercise bikes give our employees a simple opportunity to integrate exercise into their workday. Since their launch, some 15,000 employees have used the desk bikes. The project was scientifically followed by a study conducted by Berufsgenossenschaft Verkehr (the occupational accident insurer of the transportation industry), the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA) and the German Sport University Cologne. The academics examined the participants’ levels of acceptance and well-being, their physiological activity parameters, energy conversion levels and body posture. Not only were participants having fun while exercising, their mental activity also increased. Another positive side effect was that participants burned more calories when cycling than when just sitting. The positive effects measured in the course of the study led to the decision to introduce more desk exercise bikes in the future.